The idea of “difficulty” in Pathologic is tricky to parse in the light of the fact that the game is so completely impenetrable. Is it troublesome, or is it only impossible to make sense of what the hell is going on and along these lines what you’re supposed to be doing? Pathologic 2 intends to maintain the first’s weirdness, which is integral to the experience while smoothing down the sharp edges of confusion that make it unnecessarily testing and disappointing to play—”difficult,” you might state.
“We’ve generally believed that games are a medium capable for conveying all sort of compelling encounters—and that said encounters don’t need to be conventionally pleasant to be intrigue and fulfilling,” developer Ice-Pick Lodge clarified in an update posted to Steam. “Pathologic 2 was consistently intended to be exhausting, stressful, and bleak; we trust in ludonarrative union and aren’t excessively fond of stories that are just dark and hurtful on the cover.” We’d preferably give people a changed experience than none at all.
It’s fair to say that Pathologic 2 is not “conventionally wonderful.” The center plot is about ceasing a mysterious illness that’s ravaging a village in the Steppes, however, you’re not going to chopper in to spare the world like some sort of latter-day Hawkeye Pierce. You don’t have the instruments you need to do the job (or even to manage essential survival unaided), it’s not much clear what that job is in the first place, and you will very so often run into people (or awful) who want your money and/or your life—all while messing about in an extremely strange, under-lit world that can beneficently be described as “grim.”
The studio said that Pathologic 2 is intended to be adjusted around three essential principles: The player should always “balance nearly the verge of death” however, have an exit plan; that “cool and fascinating” content will at time must be bypassed in favor of basic survival (see guideline #1); and that players should sometimes do things that are “obviously wrong” or selfish, something that different games generally don’t encourage or even require. Generally, it believes the trouble has been a success, however, even so, there have been complaints about the trouble unrelated to those standards.
“Our games have dependably been in a curious spot. A few people just finished the first Pathologic and The Void using cheat codes. So while in principle these players agreed with our positions on games as a medium for making compelling encounters, in fact, they didn’t truly—well—experience what we had in store for them,” the developers compose. “Which is, obviously, understandable. Not everybody wants a life-changing encounter every time they launch a game. Here and there, people just want a cursory glance.”
Grasping the fourth principle—”We’d preferably give people a changed experience than none at all”—Ice-Pick Lodge said that it will reveal a difficulty slider inside the next couple of weeks that will empower players to adjust the game “mildly, inside the limits of what we think to intended difficulty.” In the meantime, however, it truly hopes that no one actually uses it.
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“Pathologic 2 is supposed to be practically unbearable, generally the effect is lost. We surrender that everybody has their own points to push. However, we strongly prompt against making the game simple for yourself,” is composed. “However, we do like the notion of giving you this opportunity—and this duty. This way, the accomplishment of resisting the temptation and completing the game on proposed difficulty turns out to be more true and distinctive. And that’s the sort of effect we profoundly appreciate.”
The first of Pathologic 2’s three sections, Haruspex, went live on May 23. The 2nd and 3rd parts, which will tell the story from the point of view of the Bachelor and the Changeling, don’t have release dates yet.